I am not sure if I am putting this in the right place. My situation is a little different. I am so unsure of what to do, what to expect and how to guide my son through his father's illness. Any guidance would be much appreciated as my son is only 10 years old.
My son's father and I have not been together since he was a baby but have shared custody. It has been contentious at times due to my ex's alcoholism so that makes this more difficult for me to figure out how to handle it.
My son's father was hospitalized last week. He told our son that his organs are failing and mentioned his liver. He told our son they had drain some fluid from where I am not sure. I know he has had biopsies and is waiting on those results but the doctor's do suspect cancer. I did contact my ex's brother because I did not feel it was right for his family to not know. He shared with me that he suspects this is end stage liver disease and that it is only a matter of time now. I had already suspected this due to the symptoms that have been shared with me but it was still really hard to process. I spent a good deal of yesterday crying.
Our son does not really realize how serious is. He doesn't know his fear of his Dad slipping into a coma or dying and him being unaware were a possibility. I know I am going to have to talk to him but I am trying to find the right words. I don't want to mess this up. So far the only thing I am sure of is I am not going to tell our son that alcohol played a part in this. I think eventually he will put it together but right now I want him to be able to grieve without that hanging over his head.
I do not know how I should handle him visiting his Dad or even how to prepare him if Dad has any distressing symptoms. My gut says visit are going to need to be a few hours and not overnights but not sure yet how Dad will handle that suggestion coming from me.
I just need whatever advice, suggestions or information that will help us deal with this. I am so sad for my son and his Dad. I have been in fear of something like this for years so I feel like I am living my worst nightmare and I feel so in over my head.